It seems apt that I am watching the episode of Buffy in which Angel becomes Angelus as I write this but I stumbled over an interesting article on the BBC website about why people are compelled by the creatures they fear.
Whilst the article concentrates on creatures of the deep like the Kraken it could equally apply to the undead, in their many forms, or hybrid monsters such as werewolves. Though the article mentions Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), creatures of the deep always makes me think of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhus Mythos as well as his novella The Shadow over Innsmouth (1931). As we go further into the Kraken’s literary heritage, some critics have suggested that Cthulhus was inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘The Kraken’ (1830). I am particularly interested in how the Kraken is the shadow version of the giant squid – a Gothic version of this naturally “monstrous” creature. The natural world is regularly a source of our nightmares and fears.
Though Oscar Wilde wrote ‘each man kills the thing he loves’, it also appears that each person also loves the thing he hates.